Case study: Dutch Rail

S/4HANA archiving and legacy system decommissioning using ILM

Industry: Public Sector | Application: S/4HANA Archiving and Decommissioning | Product: SAP ILM

Case Study: Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Rail)


The Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Rail) is the principal passenger railway operator in the Netherlands. Founded in 1837, the NS provides rail services on the Dutch main rail network, one of the busiest in Europe.


When addressing their data challenges, the Dutch Rail IT team worked closely with Proceed Group. A strategy was developed, using a phased approach, that would deliver real benefits in terms of speed, cost, and compliance. Once the data was assessed for both phases, Proceed was able to produce an accurate project blueprint outlining each step whilst also giving a clear view of what data could be archived from their S/4HANA system, and how data from their legacy systems would be stored and accessed via SAP ILM

“As part of our longer-term strategy for SAP, we wanted to ensure we were only keeping data that we really needed. As renowned experts in SAP data management, Proceed Group were perfectly placed to help us optimise our data footprint across both our production S/4HANA system and a set of legacy applications. The project has achieved everything we wanted and we look forward to working with Proceed Group again."

Christian Brinkhuizen, Project Manager at Dutch Rail

Phase One: S/4HANA Data Archiving

Dutch Rail were faced with increasing capacity usage on their S/4HANA system, so to address this, save on costs, and establish best-practice data management procedures, they worked with the consultants at Proceed to assess their current situation. Proceed advised that a data archiving project would deliver quick results, addressing both technical data (quick to deal with as it needed no involvement from the business) and some cross-functional data which was confirmed by a set of business owners. The data was then archived using SAP ILM, freeing up much-needed in-memory storage, while remaining just as accessible by Dutch Rail users as it had been while in the S/4HANA system.

Phase Two: Legacy System Decommissioning

Dutch Rail also found that their SAP legacy systems were costing a lot of money to maintain, Proceed recommended to decommission these systems in a uniform manner using the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse. NS then decided it would start with two of the four legacy systems in the first decommissioning phase, reducing their legacy system maintenance cost by 50%.

What is SAP ILM?

The SAP Information Lifecycle Management solution helps companies address their SAP data management challenges including the implementation of SAP Archiving with advanced retention management, meeting the requirements of GDPR and similar legislation, and retaining required data from legacy systems while allowing those systems to be decommissioned. In addition to the major cost savings, these projects deliver, ILM can help ensure compliance with audit, legal, and regulatory requirements while delivering a seamless user experience.

Next steps

The success of the project has meant that Dutch Rail now plans for a further number of SAP systems to be decommissioned, creating more efficiencies, and increasing Dutch Rail’s agility and sustainability.

“A structured approach to archiving and decommissioning will always result in huge cost savings and can also simplify migrations significantly. It has been a pleasure to work with Dutch Rail and help them address their challenges with SAP data. We are delighted with the significant ROI they have seen and the long-term savings they will see far into the future.”

Nick Parkin, CEO | Proceed Group

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